Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Nocturnal shoaling species; favors large river channels with a soft bottom and fringing vegetation (Ref. 7248, 52193). Found mainly in sheltered bays, lagoons and swampy areas; occurs also in typical sandy or rocky rivers (Ref. 13337). Feeds on bottom-living invertebrates (Ref. 52193) and insect larvae at night (Ref. 5595). Known to migrate up tributary rivers of Lake Kariba during rainy season, though it is not yet clear whether this is a breeding migration (Ref. 13337). Breeds during summer rainy season; females carry up to 5,000 eggs (Ref. 7248).
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Distribution

Range Description

This species is known from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania, south to Namibia, Botswana and Mozambique.

Central Africa: Cyphomyrus discorhynchus is known from the Upper Kasai and the Upper Congo River basin.

Eastern Africa: It is distributed in Lake Rukwa (Seegers 1996), Lake Nyassa, Lake Tanganyika and affluent rivers including the Rusizi and Malagarasi rivers (De Vos et al. 2001). Also found in the Mtera dam, and Lake Malawi and its catchment and the Shire River.

Southern Africa: This species is widespread in the Zambezi River system, with the exception of the Kafue River. It is also found in the Buzi and Pungwe rivers to the south of the Zambezi.
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Africa: Cunene, Okavango, Buzi, Pungwe (Ref. 52193), Zambezi (Ref. 3203, 52193, 95585), Save (Ref. 13337) and Cubango Rivers (Ref. 3203). Absent from the Kafue River (Ref. 7248, 52193, 95585). Also in lakes Tanganyika and Malawi and the upper Congo (Ref. 3203, 52193) including lakes Bangweulu and Mweru (Ref. 13337, 95585).
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Central and southern Africa.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 30 - 36; Anal spines: 0; Analsoft rays: 23 - 27
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Size

Maximum size: 310 mm SL
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Max. size

31.0 cm SL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 4967)); max. published weight: 1,100 g (Ref. 52193)
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Diagnostic Description

Diagnosis: dorsal fin up to 1.5 times anal fin length; dorsal fin origin nearer caudal fin base than tip of snout; origin of dorsal fin in advance of anal fin (Ref. 52193). Chin with fleshy bulge; snout rounded in front of mouth; eye well above mouth (Ref. 4967). Male develops concavity to the margin of the anal fin, whereas that of female is straight; high back, with dorsal fin approximately 1/3 of total fish length, serves to separate it satisfactorily from other mormyrids in Zimbabwe (Ref. 13337).Description: body relatively deep, compressed; dorsal fin longer than anal; caudal fin forked, with rounded lobes; head rounded with blunt snout; mouth with mental lobe; teeth bicuspid, 5—6 in each jaw; females usually smaller than males, latter distinguished by notch or kink in anal fin (Ref. 52193).Coloration: greyish brown to dark brown, nearly black, lighter below; dark vertical bar sometimes evident between dorsal and anal fins (Ref. 52193).
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This is a demersal species. It is a nocturnal shoaling species which favours large river channels with a soft bottom and fringing vegetation (Skelton 1993). Found mainly in sheltered bays, lagoons and swampy areas. It prefers deeper water to other small mormyrids but also occurs under fringing vegetation of sandy rivers. During the Zambezi flood in 2003, the species was caught in a stream overflowing from the rising main river into inland pans, and in a newly flooded field, suggesting lateral movements from the main river for breeding, stimulated by rising water levels (Tweddle et al.2004). It is a nocturnal shoaling species which, like other mormyrids, can generate a weak electric field around its body using specialized skeletal muscles, which it uses to detect small invertebrates on which it preys, and is often caught in large numbers by subsistence fishermen. It feeds on insect larvae at night (Konings 1990). Known to migrate up tributary rivers of Lake Kariba during rainy season, though it is not yet clear whether this is a breeding migration (Bell-Cross and Minshull 1988). Breeds during the rainy season; females carry up to 5,000 eggs.

Systems
  • Freshwater
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Environment

demersal; freshwater
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Trophic Strategy

Nocturnal shoaling species; favors large river channels with a soft bottom and fringing vegetation (Ref. 7248). Found mainly in sheltered bays, lagoons and swampy areas. Occurs also in typical sandy/rocky rivers (Ref. 13337). Frequency of occurence in Caprivi: frequently on rocky streams, occasionally in standing deep water (Ref. 037065). Feeds on insect larvae at night. Known to migrate up tributary rivers of Lake Kariba during rainy season,though it is not yet clear whether this is a breeding migration (Ref. 13337). Breeds during the rainy season; females carry up to 5,000 eggs.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Cyphomyrus cubangoensis

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Barcode data: Hippopotamyrus discorhynchus

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


No available public DNA sequences.

Download FASTA File
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Hippopotamyrus discorhynchus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 6
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2010

Assessor/s
Bills, R., Marshall, B., Moelants, T. & Tweddle, D.

Reviewer/s
Snoeks, J., Tweddle, D., Getahun, A., Laly, P., Paugy, D., Zaiss, R., Fishar, M.R.A & Brooks, E.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species has a wide distribution, with no known major widespread threats. It is therefore listed as Least Concern. It has also been assessed regionally as Least Concern for central, eastern and southern Africa.

History
  • 2009
    Least Concern (LC)
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Population

Population
Currently, there is a lack of detailed population numbers and the global trend is unknown.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
This species has commercial importance as an aquarium fish. As well as a risk of overfishing (particularly in lakes), illegal fishing, especially by use of poisons and small meshed nets across rivers threatens this species. In east Africa it is also threatened by pollution of the inshore riverine environment, silt loading, and deforestation and encroachment of wetlands for agriculture.
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Least Concern (LC)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
There are no conservation measures or actions known.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: minor commercial; aquarium: commercial
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Wikipedia

Zambezi parrotfish

The Zambezi Parrotfish (Cyphomyrus discorhynchus) is an elephantfish in the family Mormyridae. It is currently the only member of its genus. It occurs in several river systems across central Africa. It grows to a length of 31 cm.

References[edit]

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